The two greatest concerns of the beloved Greek gyro are how to pronounce it and the origins of the spiced mystery meat being shaved off the rotisserie cone. The Times consulted the world's largest gyro meat maker, Kronos Foods in Chicago, and found answers to both questions, sort of. The article says gyros is pronounced YEE-ros, which is Greek for "spin," though the commenter in the video says JI-ro. (I've tried to order one from a street vendor by asking for a YEE-ro and received confused looks. "You mean JI-ro?" Is the official pronounciation so unknown that the practical one has supplanted it? )
In any case, the production process leaves little mystery about the matter:
The process starts with boxes of raw beef and lamb trimmings, and ends with what looks like oversized Popsicles the shade of a Band-Aid. In between, the meat is run through a four-ton grinder, where bread crumbs, water, oregano and other seasonings are added. A clumpy paste emerges and is squeezed into a machine that checks for metal and bone. ("You can never be too careful," Mr. Tomaras said.) Hydraulic pressure -- 60 pounds per square inch -- is used to fuse the meat into cylinders, which are stacked on trays and then rolled into a flash freezer, where the temperature is 20 degrees below zero.